Aug 08 2010
I make no secret of how much I value privacy. Which is weird coming from someone like myself who spends so much time on social networking, blogging and generally shouting my activities to the world. But I control most of that information, which is what privacy is all about in the digital age. So why am I talking about letting my wife track my every move? Because I received a press release about the Family Tracker application for the iPhone and iPad, and rather than just go on a diatribe about how such a system could be misused, I have decided that for the next few weeks I will voluntarily give my wife the ability to track the location of my iPhone anywhere it goes. And since I’m almost never without my iPhone, it means she’ll be able to track my movement at all times. Besides, she just gave me “the Look” when I asked if it was okay for me to track her movements; allowing her to track me was obviously a healthier choice.
I don’t like the idea of tracking of people, especially if they don’t know about it. The potential for abuse far outweighs the benefits in most cases. Whether it’s a spouse or parent abusing the tracking, someone abusing access to the vendor or law enforcement legally tracking someone, I get very nervous about what CAN happen. So when I got the press release for Family Tracker and an offer for promotional codes, I decided it was time to bite the bullet that is my paranoia and see how a tracking program like this is used in real life.
I travel. A lot. In the next few weeks I’ll be crossing the country several times and I’ll be gone from home more than I’ll be there. I post my travel schedule on several calendars around my office, so which city I’m in is rarely a question and I use FourSquare enough that my location has never really been a mystery anyway. But I’ve always been in control of both of these methods of tracking and giving my family a tool to tell where I am almost every moment of the day is new and interesting experience for me. I suspect that my wife will look me up once or twice and then ignore the application 99% of the time. But she has surprised me before.
I’ve set it up so I can track myself and my iPhone from my iPad, so even if my wife doesn’t want to track me, I can still find out more about what the program is capable off. And unless I do something stupid that involves the police, I doubt anyone else will want to track me. If anyone really wants to know my whereabouts, there’s more than enough information already on the Internet to find me if someone takes the time. This will just make it a little easier.
So through the end of the month my little social experiment will be running. After that, we’ll see. It may be that my wife likes being able to track me. Or she may just say, “Meh. If I want to know where you are, I’ll just call.” I’m almost as interested in seeing how she uses Family Tracker as I am in seeing if she thinks being able to track me is worthwhile. I honestly don’t know which way she’ll decide.
After the break is the information the folks at LogSat sent me when I expressed interest in their product, which covers several important questions about how Family Tracker works.
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